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Free Font Friday: Tidal

By James

Tidal is a friendly, soft slab serif font.
A heavy weight face with a welcoming feel.
Hand drawn with organic & juicy contours.
Perfect for headlines, posters or large print. Features 94 glyphs.

Download TIDAL Now

Filed under: Free Font Friday


Monday Report | 03·14·11

By James

  1. By now, you should be seeing the new Starbucks branding in your local store.  Here is a follow-up brief
  2. MIT Media Labs has an interesting new logo (video below)
  3. (Video) Tim Brown – More Perfect Typography
  4. Wanderfly is re-inventing travel through design, check it
  5. Ever want some images for a mockup.  Forget google image search, check out Compfight
  6. Let’s talk about distractions
  7. Check out Diana’s article on Creative Barcode
  8. Dropbox as a CMS – An idea so crazy it just might work
  9. Turn any website into a wire-frame instantly with Wirefy
  10. Need some quick button inspiration for a website you’re working on? Check out House of Buttons
  11. Really enjoying “Tangle Font,” though the letters look creepily alive!
  12. Here are some great wood textures.



MIT Media Lab Identity, 2011 from readyletsgo on Vimeo.

The new visual identity of the MIT Media Lab is inspired by the community it comprises: Highly creative people from all kinds of backgrounds come together, inspire each other and collaboratively develop a vision of the future.
This unique offering of the MIT Media Lab is reflected in the logo design. Each of the three shapes stands for one individual’s contribution, the resulting shape represents the outcome of this process: A constant redefinition of what media and technology means today.
The logo is based on a visual system, an algorithm that produces a unique logo for each person, for faculty, staff and students. Each person can claim and own an individual shape and can use it on their business card a personal website. The design encompasses all collateral, business cards, letterhead, website, animations, signage etc. A custom web interface was developed to allow each person at the Media Lab to choose and claim an own individual logo for his/her business card, as well as a custom animation software which allows to create custom animations for any video content the lab produces.

Date: 2011
Studio: TheGreenEyl
Creative Direction & Design: Richard The, E Roon Kang
Programming & Design: Willy Sengewald
Programming tool: www.Processing.org

Video Credits:
Music: Mount Kimbie (http://www.myspace.com/mountkimbie)
Footage: Paula Aguilera (MIT Media Lab)
Photos: Andy Ryan, Richard The




Filed under: Monday Report


Free Font Friday: HERO

By James

Hero is a great san-serif font from Fontfabric. It is a great choice when you need to create a friendly, sincere yet stylish feel to your designs. I particularly like the rounded ends, which creates a great alternative to the now ubiquitous Gotham Rounded – not to mention it’s a lot cheaper.

Available in 2 weights, Hero Light and Hero Bold.

» Download Hero Now



Filed under: Free Font Friday


Creative Barcode

By Diana

In this profession of sharing precious visual ideas, there are instances in which a little extra protection is needed in order to avoid future headaches. This is the idea behind Creative Barcode.

Creative Barcode is a company based in the UK that offers a system to help creatives protect their work in it’s most fragile stage -when it’s still unpaid. It integrates barcodes, ftp services and intellectual property rights.

From what I could gather on their website and in other online articles, it provides a paid way to add an electronic signature to your work, and once the client has agreed to pay for it, it provides a way for your to sign the rights over to them.

By buying the rights to use their barcodes (it involves an annual fee plus a pay-per-use model), you can send your files to your clients (or prospective client) using their file sharing system, knowing that they will bear a digital signature that identifies them as your property, and that your client  will have electronically agreed to the terms and conditions of your relationship. Their system also tracks when the client accesses the files, and since they have signed an electronic agreement, it can be used as evidence of when the file was viewed in case that the relationship resulted in a legal battle.

You can read more from about the idea here. And below is a picture of what the barcode looks like.

I personally didn’t understand the extent to which this system solves the complex problem of protecting and eventually defending your intellectual property.

Lets say an industrial designer who present their ideas to possible investors and routinely require confidentiality agreements embeds this bar code into a sketch. The client can just take that same sketch and show it to another industrial designer who can replicate it, or modify it so it flies under the patent infringement radar.

There will be an electronic agreement, but that puts us right back where we started, because the designer would have take the client to court (still very a difficult thing to because of the chance of being stuck with legal fees).

In the world of graphic design, it seems like it would be useless if people receive a graphic piece with a barcode somewhere in the image, because they can a). cut out the barcode and use part of the image or b). replicate the image using design software.

I started out thinking this was certainly a step in the right direction, but now I’m going into all the possibilities for foul play and I just don’t see how this adds a level of protection to any creative product. Feel free to disagree with me in your comments below!



Filed under: Design


Monday Report | 03·07·11

By James

  1. Famous objects from classic movies
  2. Another great one from Kickstarter (perhaps we should start featuring a weekly Kickstarter project) Check out LetterMPress – Letterpress without getting dirty.
  3. FRED – if no one cares about brands, why not make the brand into a fake person?
  4. Still Liquor branding by Javas Lehn
  5. Press, Pause, Play looks like it’s going to be a very interesting film
  6. In case you were wondering, ScreenFonts
  7. Clever: If no one cares about brands, why not make the brand into a fake person?
  8. The Best and Worst States for business (info-graphic, of course)
  9. BankSimple Wants to Shake Up Banking, With Cutting Edge UI Design
  10. Here is your Concise Guide to Web Fonts


A Book Apart: The Elements of Content Strategy

Content strategy is the web’s hottest new thing. But where did it come from? Why does it matter? And what does the content renaissance mean for you? This brief guide explores content strategy’s roots, and quickly and expertly demonstrates not only how it’s done, but how you can do it well. This will be the third book from the team at A BOOK APART, and you have plenty of time to catch up before the latest book drops.  You can see the full lineup here.


Press Pause Play Trailer
Visit the website here



Filed under: Monday Report


Free Font Friday: Anivers

By James

This OpenType font family comes in regular, italic, bold and small caps and has some nice OpenType features. Besides ligatures, contextual alternatives, fractions, oldstyle/tabular numerals, Anivers also has a ‘case’ feature for case sensative forms and tabular numerals … so Anivers can crunch numbers with ease. The name Anivers derives from the word anniversary and was originally designed to celebrate the anniversary of Smashing Magazine.

Now the new improved Anivers has been expanded into a small but very rigid, reliable family.

With the extention of the Anivers family, Anivers regular has undergone a major update.
Most important are:

+ Extended language support*
+ Improved glyph shapes
+ improved metrics and kerning**

*Languages now (fully) supported:
Latin / Central European / Croatian / Romanian / Icelandic / Turkish / Esperanto

**Anivers is spaced and kerned by Igino Marini with iKern


Download Anivers Now



Filed under: Free Font Friday


Are Our Decisions Really Logical?

By Susan

Yesterday one of my coworkers felt my brain could use some shaking up and sent me a link to an amazing TED presentation by Dan Ariely.

Ariely makes a startling case for how subjective we are to context with the result being that our perception of “factual’ information might not really be as rock-solid as we’d like to assume. Oh, you can argue with me all day about how logical you are but with just a few simple exercises, he’ll show you how horribly, awfully misplaced your confidence is.

Besides the parlor-trick appeal of this presentation, the thing that is most fascinating to me is the idea that an understanding of this concept might be quite useful in life.

As designers pitching concepts to our clients, are we hurting or helping ourselves with the number and arrangement of the options we show?

This is a topic often discussed, and everyone has their own take on how much is too much…but when you watch the video I think like me you’ll realize that this might be a more important discussion that we realize.

If nothing else, Ariely offers a handy tip for looking your best when you’re headed out to the bars.


Filed under: Inspiration


Monday Report | 02·28·11

By James

In case you’re like me, and didn’t watch the OSCARs – here are the results

Check out Diana’s review of SCAD’s Entrepreneurial Forum by David Sherwin – Being an Agency of One

The Economist explores consumer backlash after Starbucks’ rebrand.

Great Advice for Young Designers (Hat Tip to Mike Gilger)

Check out the new Type Specimen App

A sweet tree house with trees inside

Did you know that Google Docs Viewer now supports Photoshop Files?

Check out this sweet color pallet

For your mandatory info-graphic pleasure, An Internet Timeline of the Egyptian Uprising

Know your type: Myriad

Top fonts of 2010Font retailer MyFonts compiles a list of the most popular typefaces over the past year, based on actual sales.

Good Reads: Redesigning MailChimp, 10 Lessons for Young DesignersInterview: Designer Michael Carney Talks About The Black Keys, The Grammys, and Being a DiscoDJ, The Disconcertion of Spec. (Courtesy of DesignWorkLife)

Filed under: Monday Report


Free Font Friday: Dekar

By James

Dekar is a cool little font, with a very unique feel to it.  Thanks to the folks over at FontFabric we have two free weights (Light and Regular).

Download Dekar Now


Format: Opentype (.otf)
Compatible: PC & Mac
Details: 162 Character Set, Manual Kerning, Tracking / Pairs


Filed under: Free Font Friday


Being an Agency of One

By Diana

Last Thursday I attended a presentation at SCAD’s Entrepreneurial Forum by David Sherwin, a Senior Interaction Designer at frog design.

I didn’t really know what to expect since I was mostly drawn in by the title “Being an Agency of One”, but I found myself connecting with a lot of the experiences he shared during his presentation.

It was a mixture of experiences and advice that he came up with along with team of professionals in the design and marketing industry. It also had a strong focus on project management and profitability.

David offered in his lecture a lot of information that one would be able to obtain only after having coffee or a few beers with the owners of an agency or creative studio.

At the beginning of the lecture, he explained how agencies make money.

Well… by creating cool stuff, one may think. But in reality, lots of companies make their money from a variety of sources such as re-selling services (media buying, hosting), giving away content (blogs, tutorials) or selling proprietary assets (software, processes, etc.). Depending on what areas are more profitable and also depending on the level of involvement, staff hours need to be allocated accordingly.

After each agency has the materials they use as their currency, they need to figure out how they will engage in business with others. This part involves setting the rules of engagement and having a talk with clients to let them know what they can expect from the agency and what the agency is expecting from them. It is incredibly important to have this conversation because a lot of professionals in the creative industry wrongly assume a client is a client, and when they contact the agency, the agency is obligated to bend over backwards to accommodate their needs and expectations.

David also touched on the importance of saying no, whether it’s because the client needs something outside of our field of expertise, or because they have a very limited budget that won’t allow for our best effort. This will help the client understand we are a creative partner, and not just a vendor.

The main point I walked away with was that it is very important to know that whatever your structure (large agency, medium agency, small agency or freelancer) you need to position yourself as what you are and play on your strengths.

Each structure is specifically designed for different types of clients.

Large agencies usually are best for large companies, because sometimes the volume of their needs is only manageable by a really large team with very specific functions within the organization.

If you are a freelancer or a small agency, your full attention will be focused on the projects at hand, and the client will get personalized interactions every step of the way. There are varying levels of quality at this “size”, but generally if you find a good freelancer or small agency (i.e. Paragon) you’ve hit the jackpot.

Here’s why: generally with large agencies, you will get the best and most seasoned creatives at some point in the process, but the bulk of the work will be done by young and sometimes inexperienced employees, and there will be a huge cost associated with the agency’s service, not only because of their reputation, but also to cover their humongous overhead. With small agencies, you get all hands on deck, all levels of experience collaborating, because usually each person has a specific strength and for most projects, a variety of strengths will be needed.

I think I’ve covered only 20% of what his presentation contained, and maybe 0.02% of his extensive online materials, so if you want to know more, and get it straight from the source, I highly recommend following him on Twitter @changeorder and visiting his website.